Paul Warne post-Scunthorpe United..
DESPITE the concession of a last-gasp equaliser, Millers boss Paul Warne was quick to praise the efforts of his side following their hard-fought draw with Scunthorpe United in the League One play-off semi-final first leg at Glanford Park.
Goals from Jon Taylor and sub Joe Newell looked to have earned the Millers victory in North Lincolnshire but a Michael Ihiekwe own goal and sub Cameron McGeehan’s late bundled effort keeps the tie on a knife edge going into Wednesday night’s second leg at the AESSEAL New York Stadium.
Speaking to the assembled press corps afterwards, Warne shrugged off the disappointment of his side being pegged back twice by Nick Daws’ men.
“I’m really pleased with the players. I asked them not to lose and they haven’t,” Warne enthused.
“I thought it was a pretty even first half and the best bit of play was our goal. It was an edgy game as they usually are and I’m a bit disappointed with their first goal. When it was two-one, I thought we may have got another one as we had control of the game. It’s a pity we did not stop the second goal going in.
“If you’d have given me a draw before the game, I’d have been happy with that. I’m generally pretty pleased with the lads. I’ll put a smile back on their faces as some of them were disappointed. We will pick them up and go again on Wednesday.
“To come away from here, two-one up would have been a great result but I can’t be greedy. Scunny played well and are a really good side so to come here and match them on their home turf is good for us and we can take credit for that. Hopefully, we can win on Wednesday night. I don’t want to tempt fate but historically, we are generally good under the lights at the New York,”
The Millers boss had the midas touch with his substitutions as Newell scored with his first touch and Warne revealed afterwards that Newell was unlikely not to start the game while he had consoling words for centre-half Ihiekwe, who was unlucky to put the ball into his own net, as he attempted to divert Duane Holmes’ shot to safety, in the first half.
“Newell’s goal was his first touch. If you want it to fall to anyone with a bit of quality then it would be him,” Warne added.
“Joe was unlucky not to play. He came on and had an impact which must have been amazing for him.
“In fairness to Michael, he was trying to clear it. I’ve watched it back and it looks like it was going wide, but he was trying to do the right thing and I’ll not criticise him for that, as he was excellent today. It’s just bobbled off his shin.”